By Mark Maupin, Right Now Marketing Group, Maupin.Mark@gmail.com
Most business owners are always looking for ways to get more business, but they are overlooking one major method that almost anyone can do. It is simple and will catch more customers looking to pay for appliance repair service.
How can a one-man band can take down an entire appliance repair organization—even a giant company—with just an advertising budget on a shoestring?
Many appliance repair business owners would love to get more business, and almost all business owners know that there is a huge market on the Internet. However, most appliance service companies overlook a somewhat easy marketing method.
What is this easy marketing method?
Answer: Google Plus Business Listings
Why is it so important to have a Google Plus Business listing?
Here are some pertinent statistics that will make a difference in the way an appliance repair service markets its business:
-Over 50% of all adults own a mobile phone
-Nearly 2/3 of Americans 25-34 own mobile phones
-Nearly one-half of research on mobile phones begin with search engines
-74% of US consumers use location-based services on their mobile phones
-By 2015, over 80% of US cell users will have mobile phone
So what do all of these statistics really mean?
Many people already own and use mobile phones. They use them for socializing, but they also use them to search for answers to questions, such as “appliance repair (city).” They want to find someone locally who can repair their broken appliance.
So it is important to understand how searches work on mobile phones.
Well over 70% of all searches are done on Google. Most mobile phones run on Android, which is owned by Google.
Therefore, it makes sense to figure patterns about how Google searches work. People use Google, and they use mobile phones.
No matter the appliance repair company size—a small one-man band or a giant company—this is essential.
What shows on Google searches?
When a person speaks into his mobile phone, he might say something like “appliance repair Salt Lake City” to see what results show.
The first listings are paid listings with Google AdWords. Usually, there are two or three of these listings.
After that comes a big missed opportunity.
After those initial Google AdWords listings, there is a section that many appliance repair service owners overlook: the Google Plus Business page (map) listings. In the old days, these were called Google Places listings, but most people refer to them as maps, similar to Yellow Pages listings (although Google’s listings are different than Yellow Pages).
That’s right. Those Google Plus Business Page listings are the first free results that mobile phone searches show, at least for local search terms, like “appliance repair Denver.”
Both small and large companies get listed here. The smart appliance repair service makes sure it is on that part of the page.
Is it hard to create Google Plus Business Page listings?
No, it is not difficult to create these listings. In fact, most people find it easy. It is simply a form with blanks, asking questions like company name, street address, city, phone number, etc.
The Google listing even allows businesses to list hours of operation and share pictures.
One of the most attractive features of listing a business on Google is that it gives an option for people running businesses from their homes. It allows someone to list a business without showing the address.
To complete a Google Plus Business Page listing, here is all that is needed:
-a Phone Number
-a Gmail Account
-an Address to Receive a Postcard from Google
Once the person submits a business to be listed on Google Plus, then there is about a ten (10) to twenty (20) day waiting period. Google sends a postcard to the physical address submitted. They do this to ensure that the person entering an address is not using a phony address.
On this postcard, there is a five (5) or six (6) digit verification code. It is really easy to see, as this number is in large letters on an otherwise small postcard.
Log into the system, enter this validation code, and the Google Plus Business Page listing will be online and live within a few days. Sometimes, the listing will be live immediately after submitting the code.
Is it possible to do anything to make one listing show over another?
It is great to submit a listing, but some cities have many other businesses of the same type that already created a similar Google Plus Business Page. So they have a good chance of getting listed ahead of a newly submitted company.
It would be nice to be the first business listed.
Google never gives instructions how to “hop over” other, more established business listings, but here are a few tips, based on a combination of research from other experts and actual personal experience:
-Select the right category (or multiple categories, if applicable).
-Get customer reviews. How can a company get them? Simply ask the customer.
-Attach a website that is relevant to the business (i.e. a company website or listing)
What are Citations? Why are they important?
Google appears to give favor to business that have a lot of relevance and seem to be well-known within the community.
One of the ways Google appears to check for this “relevance” is through citations.
Citations are places online that list (a) the company name and either (b) a street address or (c) a phone number and city/state combination.
Example (b) – Citation
The Country’s Best Appliance Service
123 Main Street, Anytown, Montana 43210
Example (c) – Citation
The Country’s Best Appliance Service
Anytown, Montana 43210
The more places these citations are listed online, the better chance of the customer being represented on Google. The Google Places Business Page listing will become relevant and possibly be listed higher amongst the other listings of the same type of service for that city. Sometimes, a listing might show in multiple cities, but that is not common.
OK, citations are important, but how can a company get them?
Yes, the more citations a company can get online, the better chance of Google putting its listing online in a position closer to the top of the page. The closer to the top of the page a company is listed, the more calls that company tends to generate.
So it is important to figure how to get as many citation listings as possible.
Here are some suggested places for a company to get citations:
-Comments inside blogs, articles, videos, etc.
Essentially, citations help bring relevance to a company name and associates it with a location.
This is amazingly helpful for local searches on Google, especially on mobile phones.
Recall: 74% of US consumers use location-based services on their mobile phone.
KEY STAT: According to LocalVox, “88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.”
Think it is important to find ways to get on top of local searches?
Any service business that wants more customers to call them wants to find ways to be listed online for local search phrases.
Take these steps, and any appliance repair service business will get more customers.
That is one way a small company can compete with an appliance repair giant and win.
To learn more about how to do this in step-by-step detail, including getting more citations, register for the webinar at http://www.BigSeminar14.info.
Some owners prefer to outsource this type of marketing work. Those owners might want to call Mark Maupin of Right Now Marketing Group at (248) 939-6232 or email him at Maupin.Mark@gmail.com to answer questions or even discuss ways he can provide marketing support.